At least they’re spreading the wealth around, so to speak, regarding fastest drivers in each class of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at the Daytona Test Days.
Saturday dusk SCOTT DIXON/No.02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley Daytona Prototype was fastest at 1:40.705/127.263 mph. His teammates are the same as last year, Ganassi drivers in other series. Dixon and 2010 Champion DARIO FRANCHITTI from IndyCar, and JUAN PABLO MONTOYA and JAMIE McMURRAY from NASCAR Sprint Cup.
A.J. ALLMENDINGER continues to hold the fastest DP and overall time from Saturday morning.
Another new name at the top for the GT class – DOMINIK FARNBACHER of Germany turned a lap of 1:50.598/115.879 in No.66 TRG Porsche GT3. His teammates are TIM GEORGE, Jr; BEN KEATING, and owner KEVIN BUCKLER who says he’s only running the test, not the race.
The GT fastest lap still belongs to Porsche factory driver, WOLF HENZLER in the sister TRG Porsche, set Friday afternoon.
It’s always good news when a driver is OK after a flameout. PIERRE GIBON of France was in the East Horseshoe when the No.00 Aten Motorsports Ferrari F430 GT caught fire in the rear. He was seen in the Infield Medical Center and released. The whole rear end behind the driver’s seat flamed out. TONY DOWE, team owner, said the car can be fixed and it wouldn’t take as long as it might look. Until the car can be taken apart, it won’t be known for sure what caused the fire. However, primary indications from the data is that the engine failed.
The names they are a changin”. The Rolex 24 Entry List is definitely a Work In Progress
New drivers added to the roster include CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI of Brazil, who was in No.9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley DP Saturday afternoon. Another new driver is flying in tonight, “Mad” MAX PAPIS of Italy, who is married to Fittipaldi’s sister. They co-drive with JOAO BARBOSA of Portugal and TERRY BORCHELLER of FL. Borcheller was seen on the front page of Saturday’s Daytona News Journal, in living color.
Two other famous celebrities were on track Saturday for the first time this weekend – NASCAR Five-time Sprint Cup Champion, JIMMIE JOHNSON; and actor/driver/team owner, PATRICK DEMPSEY.
More on them later.